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Owasso Reporter

Libraries thriving in digital age with family-focused offerings
BY ART HADDAWAY
News Editor

Owasso is a community of
Libraries are valuable
booklovers, many of whom can
be found at the city’s library. to teach kids the
Locals of all ages, from par- importance of books
ents and children to teachers and learning and gaining
and students, make their way to knowledge about life.”
the Owasso Library every day to
enjoy its wide range of resources MANDY WENDEL
and programming.
Mandy Wendel, for example, Owasso Library Manager Jen-
brings her three children to the nifer McQuade said she’s proud
facility, located at 103 W. Broad- to see the steady flow of traffic
way St., about once a week to come through the doors and be-
peruse the bookshelves with her lieves her many program offer-
friend Charlotte and her two ings are one of the biggest draws
children. for locals.
“Libraries are valuable to teach “We can’t do enough pro-
kids the importance of books and gramming,” McQuade said. “We
learning and gaining knowledge serve a lot of young families, and
about life,” Wendel said. “I let the there’s a lot of young families in
little ones pick out like one or Owasso, so I think that has a lot
two, but mostly for my (daugh- to do with it. We definitely con-
ter) so she has a variety of books centrate on earlier literacy.”
to read.” The library’s team of 12 hosts
Kathy Vermillion, a teacher about a dozen events year-
with Epic Charter Schools, also round for children, but also
visits the Owasso Library about for teens and adults, including
twice a week, where she meets popular selections like Bouncin’
with local students to help them Beethovens, PAWS for Reading
with their coursework. and a comprehensive summer
“The older kids, we’ve got ge- reading program.
ometry books or math books McQuade said she feels anoth-
… the little ones, they can walk er way the library has thrived in Mandy Wendel, left, brings her three children to the Owasso Library about once a week to peruse the bookshelves
around, it’s not a confined space,” a technology-driven era is simply with her friend Charlotte, right, and her two children.  ART HADDAWAY/Owasso Reporter
Vermillion said. “Being a public by adapting to those trends. Cur-
location … you can use (it) for rently, the library offers Wi-Fi, only the social environment but audio books, videos and maga- adapting digital hub, McQuade
the resources … it’s becoming a 14 public-access computers, lap- more so the ability to work on- zines on hand. said she feels the library system
lot more popular for us anyway.” tops for in-house use, an AWE line. To accommodate its emerging serves as a place of security and
Wendel and Vermillion are early literacy computer and two “I like just to be around people customer base, the Collinsville socialization for individuals of all
among the hundreds of patrons self-checkout portals to assist pa- when I come here,” he said. “I branch carried out a major re- walks of life.
who continue to still use and trons. also like the idea that I can access model in August 2017, in which “I think for older people, we’re
rely on local public libraries, like “I think it’s just the variety that the internet whenever I want to, it expanded its shelf and lounge a safe place they can come and
Owasso’s, in an ever-growing we’ve offered and the way that and knowing that I don’t have to space. The facility’s key change, spend time around other peo-
digital age of iPads and e-books. we’ve embraced the technology have an internet at home, it will however, came when it replaced ple,” McQuade said. “For young
Built in 1990, the Owasso Li- that’s keeping us relevant,” she save me money as well.” its main desk with two digital moms, we’re a safe place where
brary brings in about 140,000 said. “I also think it’s more than The Collinsville Library, locat- “self-check” machines. they can come and interact with
visitors a year to browse its col- that … the librarian can help you ed at 1223 W. Main St., has also “We help people a lot with other moms and have a place for
lection of around 50,000 books, find what you need in an age seen a consistent flow of traffic, technology because it’s changing their kids to play.”
CDs, DVDs, audio books, videos when there’s a million choices, drawing just over 2,000 patrons all the time and we’re the ones Weldon added, “We’re here to
and magazines. Likewise, the and I think we’re almost like through its doors on a monthly they go to,” said Collinsville Li- support people’s need for con-
facility has the fifth highest cir- guides in the digital age.” basis. brary Manager Rhonda Weldon, nection … we support literacy,
culation volume of all the Tulsa Norbert Kunz, who visits the Locals of all ages come to take who echoed McQuade’s senti- we support connecting people
City-County Library branches, Owasso Library three to four part in the facility’s many pro- ments. “We’re here to be that hu- to other people and to other re-
logging an average of nearly times a month, said he enjoys gram offerings and library ses- man presence to help you navi- sources. A library, to me, is an
23,000 circulations on a monthly writing his research papers at sions, as well as peruse its more gate all of this digital world.” information hub and a center for
basis. the downtown center for not than 23,600 books, CDs, DVDs, Even more than an ever- community.”

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